- Relaxed Beach Lodge
- Lovely Beach
- Lush tropical Gardens
- 12 bedroom lodge
Matemwe Lodge is a lovely low-key relaxed beach lodge with a fantastic Zanzibar atmposphere, and lush tropical gardens that reach down to the edge of a beautiful lagoon, it is a real favourite on Zanzibar.
Matemwe Lodge has 12 chalets each built using local materials and set within lush gardens. Each of the chalets has a private veranda with hammock and sofa, with spectacular views of the Indian Ocean. Six triple-bed chalets are available, and there are two that have a private plunge pool. The large bathrooms have a deep bathtub and walk-in shower, and beds are all enclosed by mosquito nets.
Accommodation at Matemwe Lodge is fully inclusive, with a mix of gourmet-style cooking and traditional Zanzibari cuisine with loads of seafood. The buffet-style breakfast includes fresh fruit, muffins, croissants, cereal and yoghurts as well as a full English breakfast. Lunch and dinner are three-course meals: choose between two starters, three main dishes (including a meat, fish and vegetarian option) and two desserts. Tuesdays and Fridays are barbecue night (with a range of seafood and meats) and Sunday is a Swahili buffet, offering a large selection of traditional dishes. The open-air restaurant sits just above the ocean, with magnificent views of the palm-fringed beach and gently rocking dhows.
Matemwe Beach is a pretty secluded beach on the northeastern coast of Zanzibar. It is well situated for trips to the reefs of the Mnemba Atoll for world class diving and snorkelling (30 minute boat ride). The beach is still one of the quieter and more exclusive locations on the island. Matemwe Lodge is perched on an outcrop overlooking a shallow coral-fringed lagoon. The lodge is adjacent to a long stretch of beach that has not been noticeably altered by tourism and remains an important thoroughfare for locals. Fishing and seaweed harvesting are still key to the local economy. The lodge has a close relationship with the local fishing village, Matemwe Village, situated on the far side of the beach. It is home to many of the Matemwe staff and many of their children attend the local school. Matemwe is just 60 minutes’ drive from Stone Town, allowing for easy day trips into the winding streets of the historic town.
Activities available at extra cost include Snorkelling and diving at the famous reefs of Mnemba Atoll, Diving courses, Kite-surfing, Traditional sailing & fishing, Sundowner dhow trips. Scenic kayaking on the reef, village visits and guided reef walks are offered complimentary.
For families, Matemwe Lodge is a wonderfully relaxed low-key option. Most of the chalets can sleep upto a family of four, with parents in a large double in the main area of the chalet and children sleeping on the mezzanine. Those looking for more facilities might consider instead more resort-like options such as Barazza or Breezes.
Everything was exceptionally well arranged and the whole trip, from checking in on line and printing out the outward journey boarding cards from home, until return to Heathrow, was completely seamless.
Although arriving slightly earlier than scheduled, we didn't have to wait before being collected at Nairobi by Elijah, our guide and Samuel the driver. On being told that we had hardly slept at all on the outward journey, they took us to a small B&B place they use (sorry, I've forgotten the name of the place) and we were able to rest/sleep for some 3 hours before setting off on our adventure. This was very much appreciated by us as that first day was full on after that.
They looked after us really well and both were very knowledgeable and good company and were flexible to our needs, with nothing being too much trouble for them.
The accommodation you picked for us was spot on. We were particularly taken with Sunbird Lodge (I could have spent the whole week there if it were not for being on the move due to the nature of the trip), which was quite informal and extremely friendly. We then moved on to the Maji Moto Eco Camp, where again everything was fine. Having stayed in similar places before, at my age now, the one night suited well and I was surprised when Dan was so taken with the place that he would have liked to stay another night! I think the camp fire might have had something to do with it. The visit to the school was also well worth it from Dan's perspective.
On then to Ilkeliani and I concur with what you say about it being so well priced for what it offers, that it is a good recommendation. This was slightly more formal at mealtimes than Sunbird Lodge but nevertheless, the staff were equally friendly. As adults, both my husband and myself enjoyed the food although the feedback I provided on their customer satisfaction questionnaire was that perhaps the evening meals could possibly have slight variations for children. We didn't see any signs of the suspended footbridge and as we didn't ask about it, I don't know whether it's still there or not.
I have to say that the beds in both Sunbird and Ilkeliani were very, very, comfortable.
The Mayfair Southern Sun was again a good choice although I think the room we had was perhaps a standard twin room. There were two what I call "three quarters" sized beds, i.e. larger than a single but not quite a double bed size, which meant it was a bit of a squeeze for 2 persons in one bed.
Both the Giraffe Centre and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Sanctuary were ideal additions to the itinerary. We had a 10 year old who was reluctant to leave Kenya!
Martha Ann Eileen Curry reviewing Maasai Family Adventure on 14 May 2018
The walking in the mountains was a fantastic experience, helped by our perfect guide Ibrahim. He was intelligent, kind, cheerful and looked after us very well. He could answer all our questions on flora, fauna, geology, history and local culture. He walked at a steady phase that suited all and made sure everyone was happy. We could not have asked for more.
Our favourite place to stay was the Azzaden trekking lodge where we were welcomed warmly with slippers, dates, milk and a hand wash. The food was excellent and the breakfast was very impressive. The hospitality of Mohamed was second to none. The view from the balcony was amazing and when it got dark the stars came out in their millions. ( we did however not manage to find out in which bed Daniel Craig had slept).
When we reached Kasbah Toubkal the weather had turned cold and wet so we could not enjoy the roof terrace and the outdoor area.
Riad Tzara was excellent and Naima, Khadija, Abdul and Mohamed looked after our every need. We had dinner one night on the roof of Dar Hanane where the view over the city was great. We also liked the cozy roof terrace in Riad Tzara where the perfect temperature was in the afternoon after escaping from the noises and fumes of the Medina.
Inga Olafsdottir reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Comfort Trek on 27 February 2018
The highlights for us were the accommodation choices - we loved each place we stayed and for quite different reasons.
We found the food really delicious at all the places. We were really impressed. We ended up eating dinner every night at Dar Housnia, which was really tasty but a bit expensive but we loved the convenience of it and loved everything else about the place.
My 9yr’s favourite place was Douar Samra - he liked the rooms and all the meals. We all like the communal meals there. It was good to get to know other travellers. But my husband and I really loved the Douria Suite at Dar Housnia as it was great to the have space and down time by ourselves there. We spent some hours just lazing on the terrace after walking around Marrakech for hours.
We also thought Kasbah Ellouze was really lovely too. They were super helpful accommodating the kids. They made sure we could celebrate NYE dinner with the kids as they go to bed early. It was really kind of them.
We had a Hussain as our guide for trekking and he went with us on the road trip. We really liked him: friendly & kind, and not too loud & talkative (our family is on the quiet side!). Hussain was great with our two boys. He made them feel comfortable, kept them safe on the treks (ie speed walking ahead with them when they wanted (our 4yr old loved this!) and holding them securely on mules over the rough terrain) and he played football with them too!
We had two different drivers who were both good - helped out when our 9yr old vomited from car sickness and were happy to drive slowly as needed.
Also we thought your organisation of everything and choice of accommodation & guides was excellent. We had no complaints. We had a splendid, relaxed and easy holiday - we didn’t have to think of anything & it was all great.
Helen Newman reviewing Morocco Family Holiday: Kasbahs, Mountains & Souks on 30 January 2018